The biggest buzz I’ve ever had

200902_11_bees

The bees start to gather in our tree

A most amazing thing happened to me two days ago while I was staying at our little condo on Indian Rocks Beach, Fla. I was sitting outside having lunch before heading out to visit my quite ill mother when I heard a strange humming sound. I looked around and saw a huge swarm of bees heading up our little street. They were in a pack, but flying every which way.  A few neighbors came out to watch.

At a certain point I decided to go inside and watch through the window. The swarm came closer, then proceeded to cluster on a fairly thin branch of an oak tree a few feet from our front door! In a few seconds (seconds!) they had formed a tight blob o’ bees, with just a few flying around. A BIG blob!

People were walking under the tree for a look, but I wasn’t so brave/stupid. I peered outside, then went in to make a few calls seeking information. Because, what did it all mean? Plus, we had monthlong renters coming the very next day. What if they were bee-phobic or even allergic?!

A swarm of bees has settled down

The swarm settles in. But for how long?

I called town hall and the county extension service, which handles all things of the natural world. (In rural areas, extension agents work closely with farmers.) Long story short: I learned from a city public service worker and an extension agent that my new neighbors were likely honey bees, but beekeepers weren’t interested in coming to fetch them because of the influx of nasty African bees. If they didn’t leave they would need to be exterminated. (Noooo!) But likely they were migrating to a new home, and would move on in a day or two to keep looking for suitable holes to snuggle up in. Later I found some great information  about honey bee swarms online.

A big blob of bees is hanging from a branch

Is this a blob o' bees or what? Any guesses as to how many bees are here?

The bees pretty much kept to themselves, though I did keep the front door closed. Their pulsating, wiggling mass fascinated me, and I begin to feel quite honored that they’d planted themselves in our tree. I know enough about bees to know how incredibly well-run their colonies are. Plus, what woman doesn’t have fantasies of being a queen bee with a few thousand workers and drones serving her?

Each time I came and went, I checked on the bees. Their natural powers transfixed me, and I felt protected by them. (Yeah, yeah, I got carried away.) The next day I came home from Mom’s around lunchtime to clean up the condo to make it ready for our renters, whose surname happens to be BEEchey. (Coincidence? Hmmmmm…)

The queen and her army is off to another destination

The queen and her troops are off to another destination. Bye-bye, honey bees!

Indeed the bees were still there. I’d already alerted the property manager and tried to contact the Beecheys, to no avail. As I put my key in the front door I heard a buzzing sound and looked up. They were dispersing! In a few seconds the swarm was off, soaring over neighbors’ homes, flying to their next destination. I watched them go, and wondered about the few stragglers who stayed in the tree.

I like to think queen waited for me to return so they could say goodbye. Some would say that absolutely she did and others would say hogwash.  I do know this much: that was one major buzz!

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5 Responses to “The biggest buzz I’ve ever had”

  1. HB Says:

    I beelieve that this is just the beeginning.

  2. eperlman aka boldlygosolo.com Says:

    Cool post. Or should I say, in Diane and HB style, un bee lievable!

  3. karel Says:

    After such an incident has ended, you can joke about. And therefore I’m asking: Is this about where they went or where they came from ? But anyhow it gives an insight into your subconcious when you say: “What woman doesn’t have fantasies of being a queen bee…..”
    And many congratulations you didn’t have a passport to pass their borderline, because invadors will be punished very harsh (unless you smoke a pipe, I’m told)

  4. Christine Says:

    Diane, the bees have now come to my house!!!!! (about 7 blocks away!)
    They came slowly at first – yesterday – to my porch, near my door – and then more and more,
    then in the evening they disappeared! not a one was around!
    Then this morning there were more. My friend Diana who is staying at my house called me at work to say there was now a huge swarm, but then she called back to say most had left again!
    We are also quite amazed, and wondering what they are doing, or what they are trying to tell us all?!

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